Wrestlers’ protest: Delhi Police may submit probe report against WFI chief by next week
Even as the protesting wrestlers suspended their agitation till June 15 at the request of the Centre, the Delhi Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing sexual harassment allegations against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has said that it may submit its probe report in the two cases against him in court by next week.
Delhi Police sources told PTI that during the course of the investigation, the SIT questioned more than 180 people.
Top wrestlers of the country, including Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat and Olympic champions Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, had been protesting against Singh and demanding his arrest for allegedly sexually harassing seven female grapplers.
The wrestlers on Wednesday (June 7) decided to suspend their protest till June 15 Sports Minister Anurag Thakur in a meeting with them assured that a charge sheet against Singh will be filed by then and WFI elections will be held by the end of the month.
“The investigation report related to the two cases with all the evidence collected so far will be submitted in the court by next week. Currently, the investigation is underway and more statements are being recorded,” a police official told PTI.
The official said 180 people, including the complainants, witnesses, Singh’s colleagues, employees, staffers, associates and family members have been questioned by the SIT so far.
These people were questioned about the allegations levelled by the complainants and the particular incidents mentioned in the two FIRs, he said.
They were also examined to know about Singh’s attitude and his behaviour with his colleagues, associates and female wrestlers and to ascertain the timeline of his official and personal visits on certain dates to corroborate the complainant’s claims, he said.
If needed, the police may also revisit Singh’s residences in Delhi and Gonda to collect more evidence, he added.
The official said the case is very sensitive and the investigation is being carried out using all technical tools. Call detail records are being analysed, and videos and photos collected as part of the investigation are being thoroughly examined, he said.
The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against Singh. While the first FIR relates to allegations by the minor wrestler and has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the second is related to outraging modesty.
The FIRs narrate several alleged instances of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, groping, stalking and intimidation by Singh at different times and places over a decade.
Singh has been questioned by the police twice so far and on both occasions, he denied all the allegations against him and claimed he was being “framed”.
However, in a twist to the case, the father of the minor wrestler recently told the media that his daughter has clarified in the court that she was not underage at the time of the sexual harassment. This may lead to the dropping of the POCSO charge filed against Singh.
(With inputs from agencies)